Front gardens: To pave or not to pave?Picture showing driveway entrance

Paving over your entire front garden can have a serious impact on the natural and urban environment.  Replacing gardens with hard surfaces:

  • increases the chance of flooding
  • decreases the appearance of properties and can lower their value 
  • increases water pollution
  • decreases biodiversity

When it rains the water cannot soak into the ground, and flows into the drainage system. During heavy rainfall, the drains cannot cope with the additional water and this can cause flooding and result in damage to streets and properties. This condition has been worsened particularly due to climate change.

Did you know? The London Assembly has found that almost a quarter of the front gardens in South-East England are now completely paved over: an area equal to 5,200 football pitches!

Planting trees and vegetation in front gardens

Putting vegetation, especially trees in front gardens will bring many benefits such as:

  • providing points of infiltration for surface runoff and hence help to prevent flooding
  • improving the appearance of your house and street thereby increase the value of property
  • capturing carbon dioxide and moderating local climate around buildings to reduce energy used for heating or cooling, thereby reduce carbon emissions
  • helping to remove pollution and particles/sediments from air/runoff
  • providing a source of food/habitat for wildlife and hence helping to increase biodiversity

Please follow the links under the ‘Useful websites' section for information and advice on front gardens and trees.

Planning permission now required to pave over your garden

New planning legislation means that planning permission is now required to pave over your garden with more than 5 square meters of non-permeable surfaces.

There are circumstances where permission is not required.  For more information, please refer to the Government guidance:

Guidance on the permeable surfaces of front gardens 

Using permeable surfacing and planting more vegetation prevents the flooding of your property and improves its appearance (and potential value). 

Redbridge’s pound for pound tree planting scheme

Trees improve and enhance the environment of Redbridge. The '£ for £' scheme allows you to get involved in the planting of new trees in your local area. Under the scheme, the Council will finance 50% of the cost of supplying and planting trees in Redbridge.

An application for the scheme can be made for any location within the Borough, on private or public land.

Applications for front gardens are particularly welcomed.

For more information, visit the pound for pound page.

Contact us

Planning enquiries 

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